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Become A Technician, Inventory Specialist

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Working As A Technician, Inventory Specialist

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Processing Information
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $50,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Technician, Inventory Specialist Do

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. They work in retail pharmacies and hospitals.

Duties

Pharmacy technicians typically do the following:

  • Collect information needed to fill a prescription from customers or health professionals
  • Measure amounts of medication for prescriptions
  • Package and label prescriptions
  • Organize inventory and alert pharmacists to any shortages of medications or supplies
  • Accept payment for prescriptions and process insurance claims
  • Enter customer or patient information, including any prescriptions taken, into a computer system
  • Answer phone calls from customers
  • Arrange for customers to speak with pharmacists if customers have questions about medications or health matters

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists, who must review prescriptions before they are given to patients. In most states, technicians can compound or mix some medications and call physicians for prescription refill authorizations. Technicians also may need to operate automated dispensing equipment when filling prescription orders.

Pharmacy technicians working in hospitals and other medical facilities prepare a greater variety of medications, such as intravenous medications. They may make rounds in the hospital, giving medications to patients.

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How To Become A Technician, Inventory Specialist

Becoming a pharmacy technician usually requires earning a high school diploma or the equivalent. Pharmacy technicians typically learn through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary education program. Most states regulate pharmacy technicians, which is a process that may require passing an exam or completing a formal education or training program.

Education and Training

Many pharmacy technicians learn how to perform their duties through on-the-job training. These programs vary in length and subject matter according to the employer’s requirements.

Other pharmacy technicians enter the occupation after completing postsecondary education programs in pharmacy technology. These programs are usually offered by vocational schools or community colleges. Most programs award a certificate after 1 year or less, although some programs last longer and lead to an associate’s degree. They cover a variety of subjects, such as arithmetic used in pharmacies, recordkeeping, ways of dispensing medications, and pharmacy law and ethics. Technicians also learn the names, uses, and doses of medications. Most programs also include clinical experience opportunities, in which students gain hands-on experience in a pharmacy.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) accredits pharmacy technician programs that include at least 600 hours of instruction over a minimum of 15 weeks. In 2015, there were 286 fully accredited programs, including a few in retail drugstore chains.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states regulate pharmacy technicians in some way. Consult state Boards of Pharmacy for particular regulations. Requirements for pharmacy technicians in the states that regulate them typically include some or all of the following:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Formal education or training program
  • Exam
  • Fees
  • Continuing education
  • Criminal background check

Some states and employers require pharmacy technicians to be certified. Even where it is not required, certification may make it easier to get a job. Many employers will pay for their pharmacy technicians to take the certification exam.

Two organizations offer certification. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification requires a high school diploma and the passing of an exam. Applicants for the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and have completed a training program or have 1 year of work experience. Technicians must recertify every 2 years by completing 20 hours of continuing education courses.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Pharmacy technicians spend much of their time interacting with customers, so being helpful and polite is required of pharmacy technicians in a retail setting.

Detail oriented. Serious health problems can result from mistakes in filling prescriptions. Although the pharmacist is responsible for ensuring the safety of all medications dispensed, pharmacy technicians should pay attention to detail so that complications are avoided.

Listening skills. Pharmacy technicians must communicate clearly with pharmacists and doctors when taking prescription orders. When speaking with customers, technicians must listen carefully to understand customers’ needs and determine if they need to speak with a pharmacist.

Math skills. Pharmacy technicians need to have an understanding of the math concepts used in pharmacies when counting pills and compounding medications.

Organizational skills. Working as a pharmacy technician involves balancing a variety of responsibilities. Pharmacy technicians need good organizational skills to complete the work delegated by pharmacists while at the same time providing service to customers or patients.

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Technician, Inventory Specialist Career Paths

Technician, Inventory Specialist
Certified Pharmacist Technician Pharmacist Staff Pharmacist
Pharmacist Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Certified Pharmacist Technician Pharmacist Pharmacist Manager
Director Of Pharmacist
10 Yearsyrs
Certified Pharmacist Technician Registered Nurse Team Leader
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Systems Administrator Consultant
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technician Team Leader
Owner
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technician Field Service Technician
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Assistant Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Inventory Specialist Driver Account Executive
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Inventory Specialist Driver Consultant
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
Inventory Specialist Forklift Operator Foreman
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Technician Data Entry Specialist Administrator
Practice Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Technician Data Entry Specialist Executive Administrative Assistant
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Data Entry Technician Data Entry Specialist Medical Coder
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Specialist Account Executive
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Lead Teacher Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Certified Nursing Assistant Cosmetologist Assistant Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Supply Technician Logistics Specialist Buyer
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Supply Technician Logistics Analyst Operations Manager
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Supply Technician Specialist Therapist
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Veterinary Technician Critical Care Nurse Pharmacist
Pharmacist Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Specialist 2.6 years
Top Careers Before Technician, Inventory Specialist
Cashier 13.1%
Internship 5.4%
Manager 2.5%
Assistant 2.3%
Volunteer 1.8%
Hostess 1.8%
Waitress 1.8%
Top Careers After Technician, Inventory Specialist
Cashier 4.0%
Technician 3.1%
Driver 2.8%
Server 2.8%
Manager 2.2%

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Top Skills for A Technician, Inventory Specialist

  1. Filling Prescriptions
  2. Pharmacy Inventory
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted pharmacist by filling prescriptions, contacting insurance companies and doctor offices and helping customers with any needs.
  • Managed pharmacy inventory through proper medication ordering, returns and inter-store transfers.
  • Maintained high standards in customer service, quality and safety with emphasis on regulatory guidelines.
  • Worked with numerous insurance companies to ensure coverage for medications and accepting payment for prescriptions.
  • Managed select department, inventory integrity, data entry, analysis and resolution.

Technician, Inventory Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

53.6%

Male

39.3%

Unknown

7.0%
Ethnicity

White

58.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.9%

Black or African American

13.0%

Asian

7.8%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.0%

French

6.0%

Russian

4.0%

Portuguese

2.0%

Bulgarian

2.0%

Vietnamese

2.0%

Romanian

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Amharic

2.0%

Mandarin

2.0%

Persian

2.0%

Hindi

2.0%

Bengali

2.0%
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Technician, Inventory Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.2%

Northern Virginia Community College

6.1%

Strayer University

6.1%

Kaplan University

6.1%

University of Central Oklahoma

5.1%

University of Houston

5.1%

Colorado Technical University

5.1%

Capella University

5.1%

Saint Leo University

5.1%

California University of Pennsylvania

4.0%

Macomb Community College

4.0%

Ohio State University

4.0%

Georgia State University

4.0%

Monroe Community College

4.0%

Howard University

4.0%

American InterContinental University

4.0%

Suffolk County Community College

3.0%

Life University

3.0%

Atlanta Technical College

3.0%

Hudson Valley Community College

3.0%
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Majors

Pharmacy

25.6%

Business

16.1%

Biology

6.6%

Nursing

6.0%

Health Care Administration

5.0%

Computer Science

4.8%

Liberal Arts

3.7%

Medical Assisting Services

3.7%

Information Technology

3.7%

General Studies

3.5%

Psychology

2.9%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Computer Information Systems

2.5%

Accounting

2.3%

Human Resources Management

2.1%

Computer Networking

2.1%

Kinesiology

1.9%

Chemistry

1.9%

Communication

1.7%

Education

1.4%
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Degrees

Other

31.9%

Bachelors

31.6%

Associate

17.5%

Certificate

8.3%

Masters

6.0%

Diploma

2.4%

License

1.1%

Doctorate

1.1%
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